Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 14th January, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Town Hall, Scarborough

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Members are reminded of the need to consider whether they have a disclosable pecuniary, prejudicial or other (personal) interest to declare in any items on this agenda.  Details of any interest must be declared at the start of the meeting or as soon as any interest becomes apparent during the meeting.  The attached form must also be completed. Any advice required should ideally be sought before the day of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Colling declared a personal interest in agenda item 7, Draft Revenue Budget 2020/21 to 2022/23, in her capacity as a community trustee of Scarborough & District Citizens Advice.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2019 attached.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

3.

Public Question Time

Public questions of which due notice has been given and which are relevant to the business of the Cabinet.

Minutes:

The Chairman reported that no public questions had been received.

 

4.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 429 KB

To review the Cabinet’s Forward Plan (reference 20/22) attached.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the Forward Plan (Reference 20/22).  The Cabinet Member, Councillor Jefferson reported two additions under her Finance and Operations portfolio: Financial Strategy in February, and quarterly Financial Monitoring Report in March.   

RESOLVED that, subject to the above amendments, the Forward Plan be approved.

 

5.

Progress of Scrutiny of Executive Decisions

To receive an oral report by the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

Members were advised that there had been no call-ins of executive decisions since the last meeting on 17 December.

 

6.

Proposal of Honorary Aldermen and Honorary Freemen pdf icon PDF 284 KB

To consider the report of the Director (LD) (20/18) attached

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 20/18) in respect of proposals for Honorary Aldermen and an Honorary Freeman.  Members welcomed the nominations in the report: the former councillors for their long years of service, and Mr Grunwell for his eminent services in the fields of regeneration and education.

RESOLVED that the Council be recommended:

i         To invite Mr Richard Grunwell to accept admittance as Honorary Freeman of the Borough;

ii       To invite Messrs Godfrey Allanson, David Billing, Tom Fox, Colin Haddington, Norman Murphy and Joe Plant to accept admittance as Honorary Aldermen of the Borough; and

iii      To approve that the honours be bestowed at the Annual Meeting of the Council on 21 May 2020.

 

Reasons

To honour former councillors and other persons of distinction for their services to the borough.

 

7.

Draft Revenue Budget 2020/21 to 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 569 KB

To consider the report of the Director (NE) (20/21) attached

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 20/21) in respect of the Council’s detailed draft revenue proposals for 2020/21 as well as the high level budget proposals and strategy for the period to 2023.  Introducing the report, the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Operations, Councillor Jefferson urged all councillors to attend the briefings on the draft budget the following week, and also highlighted the new good practice Council Tax protocol relating to the collection of Council Tax arrears.  The Director, Mr Edwards then addressed the Cabinet.  He explained that the process for the preparation of Council’s budget and financial strategy was the same as previous years, but the draft budget report had come later than usual because the provisional financial settlement had only been announced by the Government on 20 December and this was for one year only.  The draft proposals would be the subject of a public consultation and internal member briefings, in addition to the Director bringing a report on the adequacy of the Council’s reserves and balances to the Audit Committee, before a comprehensive draft financial strategy was submitted to the Cabinet and full Council in February.  During this period, the Government would also announce the final financial settlement.  2019/20 was the last of a four year funding settlement which gave some assurance and stability, despite the reductions in funding.  Originally, the Council had expected a new funding settlement to be announced in December, based on the outcome of the Fair Funding Review and a recalibration of the financing of local government.  The introduction of this new funding model had been delayed a year because of work pressures on Whitehall in relation to Brexit and latterly the General Election.  The Council had expected to be worse off after the recalibration, but had in effect been given a year’s reprieve, whilst continuing to plan for the reductions in the medium term, equating to an estimated funding gap of £6.674m for the period 2020/21 – 2022/23.  This should be set within the context of a reduction in core government funding of 66% between 2010/11 and 2019/20 and an estimate of core government funding and retained growth from the localised business rates income of £2.6m in 2022/23, compared to £12.5m in 2010/11.  The figures demonstrated the Council’s decreasing dependence on central government funding and approximation towards ‘self-sufficiency’.  The funding gap for 2020/21 of £1.705m was calculated on the basis of pay and price inflation, some uncontrollable budget pressures, some investment in key priorities, additional Council Tax revenue, and reduction in government funding.  Happily, the proposed savings for 2020/21 totalled £3.096m of which £1.75m had arisen from the annual (back funded) contributions needed to fund historic deficits on the Council’s share of the North Yorkshire Pension Fund. The significantly improved financial position had resulted from better than anticipated performance on the pension fund and unexpectedly high levels of return from financial investments made by the fund administrators.  The proposed savings had a limited impact on frontline services whilst  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Renewal of White Rose Home Improvement Agency Partnership Agreement with Ryedale District Council pdf icon PDF 202 KB

To consider the report of the Director (NE) (20/20) attached

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 20/20) seeking agreement to further extend the partnership agreement with Ryedale District Council up to 31 March 2025.  Members were reminded that the White Rose Home Improvement Agency Partnership had been formed in 2012 as partnership between the Borough Council and Ryedale District Council, and had achieved local and national recognition, in particular for the innovative ways it delivered its core function of major adaptations.  The agency also provided a range of discretionary support including a handyperson service and support to promote independence at home and energy efficiency.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet agree to the extension of the partnership agreement with Ryedale District Council in respect of the White Rose Home Improvement Agency for the period from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2025.

 

Reasons

This recommendation is being made in order to support the future work of the White Rose Home Improvement Agency.  Agreement to extend the partnership agreement ensures the on-going and successful provision of services for elderly, disabled and vulnerable people locally.

 

9.

Harbour Dredger pdf icon PDF 464 KB

To consider the report of the Director (NE) (20/19) attached

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 20/19) in respect of proposed arrangements for the provision of the Council’s harbour dredger service.  Introducing the report, the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Jefferson noted that Whitby Harbour Users Group had been consulted on the proposals in the report, and in the absence of a Harbour Users Group in Scarborough, notices had been displayed at Scarborough Harbour.  Councillor Jefferson looked forward to the re-establishment of the Scarborough Harbour Users Group, in particular since a potential new Chair had been identified.  The Deputy Harbour Master, Mr Burrows advised that the Council as the statutory harbour authority had obligations to ensure effective dredging at the ports of Whitby and Scarborough.  These obligations were met by the authority maintaining its own dredger barge ‘Sandsend’ which was also chartered to other ports to generate additional income, with the home ports taking priority.  Because of low remuneration compared to the wider industry, the need for specialist qualifications and to live locally, the Council had struggled historically to recruit and retain a ships master for the dredger.  Since the departure of the previous master in April 2019, the Council had used an agency master which was expensive and not financially sustainable in the long term.  The recommended option in the report was the Ship Management Agreement which allowed access to a specialised pool of staff, would deliver reduced insurance costs and engineering experience, and would maximise the commercial use of the dredger as a revenue source.  Asked why the Scarborough Harbour Users Group had folded, Mr Burrows referred to previous disagreements around the terms of reference of the group (which was independent of the Council) and difficulties in appointing a Chair.  However, he hoped these barriers could now be overcome with the possible identification of a new Chair.  In respect of the 7 year contract period, he advised that this was standard industry practice, but should Members wish to introduce a break clause, then this could be explored in the Director’s negotiations with the successful tenderer when finalising the contract.  The idea of a break clause was favoured by the Cabinet.  With the permission of the Chairman, Councillor Chatt addressed the Cabinet, noting the absence of a Harbour Users Group in Scarborough, and calling instead for the proposals to come through the Council’s scrutiny function.  In reply, Councillor Jefferson advised that a consultation had already taken place through the display of public notices, and three representations had been received.  Further, this was an operational matter which it was in everyone’s interests to take forward.

RESOLVED that the Cabinet:

i         approve the tendering of the Council’s Dredger operation, through a ship management agreement, and subject to the receipt of acceptable tender submissions;

ii       delegate authority to Director (Lisa Dixon), in consultation with the relevant Portfolio Holder, to enter into contract with the successful tenderer for a period of up to 7 Years, and to explore the feasibility of a break clause in the final contract.

 

Reasons  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.